Carmine says ‘Buy American!’

I’m madder than one head on a two-headed snake who’s suffering from the worst case of agita because his stupid other head ate way too much on Thanksgiving over a bunch of things, the first being that all these smart aleck department stores have removed the “s” from the end of their names!

Look, you all know that when I played Santa Claus at the A&S’s (That’s right! A&S’s! And don’t you forget it) Downtown and little Natalie Wood came and sat on my lap, I told her family if they couldn’t find what they needed there, they could go to “Macy’s” or “Gimbel’s” or “Bloomingdale’s” or “Alexander’s” or “Korvette’s” or”Kresge’s” or any of those department stores that ended in an “s” because some actual person — and not a soulless corporation — owned them.

But I’ll tell you this, old R.H. Macy and those seven Korean veterans are probably turning over in their graves over the fact that Kris Kringle now has to send shoppers to “s”-less places like “Costco,” “Home Depot,” “Ikea,” and, my least favorite of all, “Target.”

Now, I don’t need to tell you that this past Black Friday, my lovely wife Sharon and I went out bargain hunting at the place I will now refer to as “Targets” so my editor doesn’t have to remove the “s” that I added to the end of every reference I made to this store. But the only reason we went was because the Erskine Street exit is about 12 minutes away on the Belt Parkway — and because Targets is the only department store nearby that sometimes has electric shopping carts for the elderly, handicapped, and yours truly. I emphasize sometimes, because it would be more accurate to say rarely.

The store claims it has six of these devices, but in my experience, only one is functional — and that’s why I hate Targets! Here is a giant department store that spends millions on advertising in ads and TV commercials, but a pittance for its disadvantaged customers like me that want to spend their hard-earned dollars there without breaking a sweat!

And let me tell you this: the fact that I think it’s owed by the French doesn’t thrill me (In fact, it’s not even pronounced “Target,” it’s pronounced “Tar-jay”!).

Which brings me to the second thing I am pig-biting mad about: New York City discriminates against Walmart’s, which is an American-owned company, and lets Targets roost where ever it pleases. I even hear, Targets will be taking over K-Marts on Richmond Avenue on Staten Island, which will give it two stores in the forgotten borough!

Which brings me to the crux of this column, best explained in this e-mail sent to me from a friend … BUY AMERICAN!

I’m not going to bore you with the details of the e-mail, but I’ll tell you this: she looked at the labels of the stuff she was buying and found out that stuff made in China cost more than stuff made in the good ol’ U.S.A!

“The other day I went to Wal-Mart’s looking for a wastebasket. I found some made in China for $6.99. I didn’t want to pay that much so I asked the lady if they had any others. She took me to another department and they had some at $2.50 made in USA. They are just as good!”

And the same thing happened when she went to buy a kitchen rug, greeting cards, and hose attachments! And she found it all out just by reading the labels!

I couldn’t believe it at first, so I did my own research.

My grandson likes Hershey’s candy (and when I say “likes,” I mean “loves,” and when I say “grandson” I mean “me”). So I read the label and noticed it was “Made in Mexico.” So I do not buy it anymore.

Then, there’s my grandson’s favorite toothpaste, Colgate. It’s also made in Mexico so, you guessed it, I have switched to Crest! You have to read the labels on everything, people!

Speaking of light bulbs and dryer sheets, this past weekend I needed 60-watt light bulbs and Bounce dryer sheets.

I was in the light bulb aisle in the supermarket, and right next to the GE brand I normally buy was an off-brand labeled, “Everyday Value.” I picked up both types of bulbs and compared the stats: everything was the same, except for the price! The GE bulbs were more money than the Everyday Value brand — even though the GE was made in Mexico and the Everyday Value brand was made in — get ready for this — the U.S.A. by a company in Cleveland, Ohio.

So you can throw out the myth that you can’t find products you use every day that are made right here!

So on to the Bounce dryer sheets aisle — yep, you guessed it: Bounce costs more and is made in America’s sworn enemy, Canada. Meanwhile, the Everyday Value brand was less money and made in the U.S.A.!

I did laundry yesterday and the Everyday Value dryer sheets had the Screecher’s undies smelling like roses (no small feat, mind you) — at almost half the price!

So start reading the labels, people. It could save an American a job — and money!

Screech at you next week!

Carmine Santa Maria's Big Screecher column appears every Saturday on BrooklynDaily.com. And, to all you know-it-alls out there, his Hyundai was built in Alabama!